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Posted by CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate on 10/4/2018

Pets are a part of the family. When we welcome a new dog into the home, we often expect them to meet our standards of behavior without much guidance. Dogs, like children, require consistent training from all members of the family. They need positive reinforcement and clear signals from you to teach them what behavior is acceptable.

In this article, we’re going to cover some important house training tips for you and your canine companion. We’ll look at some of the common mistakes that new pet owners make, and talk about ways to curb undesirable behavior like chewing shoes or furniture or barking at windows.


Traits vs. behaviors

One common mistake new pet owners make is to attempt to place character traits on their dog. Words like pushy, protective, mischievous, etc. are all adjectives that we often use to describe our dogs.

However, as dog owners and home owners, our energy is better spent on recognizing and correcting behaviors. If your dog tears at a carpet or chews the corner of your sofa, it isn’t very helpful sitting around thinking of adjectives to describe your dog (like restless or anxious). Rather, we should think about the behavior itself and how to replace it.

Let’s jump right into some household behaviors and ways to replace them with desirable alternatives.

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of a dog’s life. Chewing itself is not a negative behavior, but when your dog starts demolishing furniture or eating your homework, it’s time to take steps to curb this behavior.

First, make sure your dog is eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Dogs who aren’t eating a fat and protein rich food or who are overeating are prone to having excessive energy. If they’re trapped indoors and have nothing to focus that energy on, they’ll turn to chewing things they aren’t supposed to.

To focus your dog’s energy on positive behaviors, take your dog for a walk, jog, or play with them. If you notice your dog attempting to chew things they shouldn’t be, draw their attention away and provide them with a better alternative.

Barking

Just like chewing, barking is not in itself a negative behavior. It’s when your dog barks excessively and inappropriately that it becomes problematic.

Dogs bark for several reasons: to get you to play, to show that they’re stressed or bored, and so on. If your dog spends a lot of time monitoring doors and windows and barking at passersby, there are a few things you can do to curb the behavior.

First, take away the trigger. In this case, that could be closing the curtains or restricting your dog’s access to the room. If your dog is worried about strangers passing by the house, they are likely already too tense to begin training an alternative behavior to barking. If it’s noises that alarm your dog, try playing soft music to mask the noises for a day or two.

Once you’re ready to start training, have someone walk past outside where your dog can see from the window or make a noticeable noise outside. Reward your dog with treats when they do not react until they become more comfortable with the outside distractions.




Tags: pets   dogs   dog training   pet behavior  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate on 2/23/2017

The benefits of owning a dog are immense, but the importance of training them effectively and from the beginning can't be overstated.

Assuming you're adopting a healthy, happy puppy from a reputable breeder or pet shop, then training should only require some basic knowledge and a lot of patient repetition.

Well treated puppies and dogs are not only eager to please their owners, but are often quite intelligent and relatively easy to train.

If you're not an experienced dog owner, there are several options for making sure your dog gets the proper training it needs.

  • Dog obedience classes are often available locally through pet stores, dog daycare centers, and individual trainers. In many cases, dog owners actively participate in the classes so they can learn the training and behavioral modification techniques they'll need to use at home. It's generally a good idea to research two or three local dog training services before deciding on the one that would best serve your needs, your training goals, and your budget. Since dogs are like members of the family, it's important that you feel comfortable with the dog trainer's personality, their level of experience, credentials, and rapport with you and your dog.
  • How-to manuals, training videos and websites are available for dog owners interested in taking on more of a DIY approach to dog training. You can pick up a lot of free tips and training techniques from articles, blogs, and free videos online, but apply the same quality standards to an online expert that you would with an in-person trainer. They should be experienced, patient, professional, and credible. In most cases, it's pretty obvious whether those qualities are present, especially when you've viewed online videos from several sources and have points of comparison.
  • Network with other dog owners you know to compare notes, training techniques, and behavior modification tips. In general, dogs respond favorably to patient repetition of verbal commands and visual prompts, enthusiastic praise when they get it right (positive reinforcement), and, of course, dog treats.
Among your first training priorities will be house breaking, having your dog come when called, and teaching them to sit on command. Although occasional house breaking accidents may occur, the sooner your dog understands the necessity of letting you know when they have to relieve themselves outside, the better it will be for your floors, your furniture, and your family! Side note: Crate training is a method many dog owners swear by.

There are effective and ineffective ways to train your dog and curb undesirable behaviors, so it pays to do some online research, get a dog training manual or DVD, take classes with your dog, and/or hire a professional dog trainer. If you just try to train your dog based on logic, general knowledge, and intuition, both you and your dog will end up feeling frustrated with the process and the outcome.







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